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Now that we have looked at some early draft results and discovered a few mispriced pairs of infielders, outfielders, and starting pitchers, it is time to complete the circle and present our results from our relief pitcher ADP analysis.

Analyzing relief pitchers is a slightly different animal than the other positions. Role is a much greater input as it is not just about skill. It is true that skill will usually win out; however, obtaining the closer role immediately enhances a relief pitcher’s value.

As a quick reminder, we will be using ADP data from the NFBC drafts and we will be using statistical forecasts from the consensus based Zeile projections courtesy of FantasyPros.

As we have previously discussed, it is important to compare pitchers that are in similar situations. It would be unfair to compare an RP locked into a closer role to one that is battling for one or in a dreaded committee. Our mispriced pairs will have an ADP gap of at least 50 spots and in all cases the gap should not even be present.

Now it is show time, here are the mispriced pairs of relief pitchers.

 

Relief Pitcher ADP Analysis; Mispriced Pairs

 

Murky Closer Situations

Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 228)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  33.2 9  37  1.60  1.19  17.3%  .295 85.5% 27.9%  31.5%  3.1%  11.5%
2016 proj  52 16  56  2.90 1.23

Carter Capps, Miami Marlins (ADP: 297)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  31 0  58  1.16  0.81  43.2%  .327 90.9% 20.4%  41.2%  10.5%  25.4%
2016 proj  47 13  65  2.71 1.10

 

Vizcaino performed well last year during his short stint as the closer for the Braves; however, with Jason Grilli expected to be healthy, he looks to be second in line for 2016. A few causes for concern include Vizcaino’s troubles with control and his inability to limit solid contact. The velocity and strikeouts are enticing, and in any scenario, he should be a factor in the late innings for Atlanta. While he may be the closer at some point, I struggle to see where he is the closer for the entire 2016 campaign.

Last year, Capps had one of the most impressive 31-inning seasons in a long time. Whether you think his delivery is legal or not, there is no questioning the results. Incumbent closer A.J. Ramos had a very good 2015, but the Marlins are making the closer position an open competition as we head into Spring Training. With Capps’ ability to miss bats, he may be the only pitcher in baseball that makes Aroldys Chapman look like a pitching machine.

While both of these relievers are involved in unsettled closer situations, Capps has the decisive advantage in terms of all non-save statistics. He will be a huge Fantasy asset, regardless of his role in the bullpen. Given their near equal probability of holding down the closer role, the near 70 point ADP gap is just flat out wrong. Be brave and pass on Vizcaino, while waiting and picking up Capps much later.

 

Trades Have Changed The Story

Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays (ADP: 199)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  69.2 20  75  2.58  0.92  21.8% .238  79.7%  19.7%  25.1%  8.5%  14.7%
2016 proj  64  12  71  3.21  1.09

Jake McGee, Colorado Rockies (ADP: 244)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  37.1  6  48  2.41  0.94  27.2%  .276  78.6%  15.6%  27.8%  7.3%  12.3%
2016 proj  57  26  70  2.96  1.06

 

Osuna was solid last year, as he took over the closer’s role in late June and ran with it. He would have been a lock to open the 2016 season as the Toronto closer; however, the addition of Drew Storen definitely clouds the picture. Given his minor league career as a starter, Osuna could be better served as a bullpen weapon that is used in situations extending more than a single inning. Meanwhile, Storen has been quite effective in only one inning appearances, including having success as a closer in Washington.

McGee battled injuries last year, yet he still managed to post stellar numbers when healthy. Prior to his trade from the Rays, McGee would have been in the conversation, possibly even the favourite, for their closer role. Now with the Rockies, McGee only has to compete with the unexciting duo of Jason Motte and Chad Qualls. While pitching for the Rockies is not exactly a dream come true, McGee has a chance to post elite strikeout numbers along with solid ratios.

It seems like McGee holds the upper hand in his closer battle, while Osuna looks to be the odd man out in his situation. I expect both of these hurlers to post similar numbers, except for saves. With a near 50 point ADP gap (this bends our >50 requirement), it just makes sense to wait for McGee and pass on Osuna.

Closers In Waiting

Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants (ADP: 364)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  51.1 0  50  2.45  0.86 20.9%  .240  79.2%  20.3%  26.4%  7.8%  14.1%
2016 proj  56  4  58  2.83  1.00

Keone Kela, Texas Rangers (ADP: 436)

IP SV K ERA WHIP K-BB% BABIP LOB% LD% Hard% HR/FB SwStr%
2015  60.1 1  68  2.39  1.16 20.6%  .314  80.8%  20.5%  29.3%  8.9%  13.7%
2016 proj  56  1  62  3.06  1.26

 

Strickland started off 2015 in Triple-A after a disappointing spring, but he was recalled in late May and worked his way into the seventh inning role with the Giants. There is plenty of hype suggesting that Strickland will be the closer for the Giants sometime down the road. This may eventually be true; however, there is a huge roadblock by the name of Sergio Romo standing in his way. Current Giants closer Santiago Casilla, is definitely on thin ice, especially when you consider that last year he had the worst season of the three late inning options at the Giants’ disposal.

Like Strickland, Kela was impressive in his inaugural MLB campaign. He became a vital, late-inning component in the deep Rangers bullpen. He was commonly called upon in the seventh or eighth inning to help protect late leads. His main competition to unseat current closer Shawn Tolleson comes from worm burner Sam Dyson. Kela likely has a leg up on Dyson given his ability to pile up the strikeouts.

When you compare these two future closers you see a lot of the same. They throw hard, they have a strikeout rate north of 25-percent, and they will post solid ratios even if they are not recording saves. Strickland clearly sits third on the closer totem pole on the Giants, while Kela is potentially next in line on the Rangers. This makes the ADP gap extremely puzzling. When compared to Strickland, Kela is a smarter bet with much better odds.

 

Being able to squeeze as much value as possible from all of your picks is the best way to leave your draft satisfied. When you spot two similar commodities, ignore the hype and pick the one with the cheaper price. Relief pitcher ADP analysis is all about figuring out which closers will maintain their jobs and which future ones are lurking in the weeds. This concludes our series on mispriced pairs. Make sure you stay plugged in to SCFE as we continue to get you prepared for the 2016 Fantasy Baseball season.

Data courtesy of www.fangraphs.com

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